OU fraternity combats negative stigma

Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s chapter at the University of Oklahoma made national headlines after video of members chanting a racist song went viral, prompting the closing of the chapter by order of ΣΑΕ national headquarters and the university’s president.

Punishment was handed down to members of the fraternity, and two students involved in the video issued public apologies after they withdrew from the university.

The acts of the organization shed negative light on chapters nationwide, something Greek life at Oakland University(OU) is making efforts to change.

Greek council president and Phi Sigma Sigma scribe Victoria Franso said that OU’s Greek life accepts different backgrounds and walks of life.

According to OU’s ΣΑΕ president Ryan Fabian, the actions from the University of Oklahoma’s chapter do not reflect the chapter’s belief system or values.

“One of the main reasons I joined ΣΑΕ is because I strongly believed in its creed, The True Gentleman, and what it stands for,” he said. “Every ΣΑΕ knows that we are individuals ‘whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety.’”

The racial chants and actions in no such way, shape or form align with ΣΑΕ’s creed, according to Fabian.

“It is sad to see that one ignorant chapter over 1,000 miles away has been able to negatively impact an entire organization’s image,” Fabian said. “It has allowed others to forget about all of the constructive actions that chapters such as ours have done to contribute to our community in a positive way.”

This year, OU’s ΣΑΕ has accumulated over 1,000 hours of community service with the cities in and surrounding Oakland County.

Organizing blood drives, volunteering at churches, packaging meals for those who are less fortunate during the holiday season and donating thousands of dollars to outreach programs are a few positive events the fraternity has participated in.

Fabian added that the controversy did have positive repercussions and he is proud that the fraternal community was able to come together to combat the stigmas they have been labeled with.

“Our chapter at Oakland University is so proud to be such a diverse and accepting group of men,” Fabian said. “We couldn’t be more proud to see our Nationals act so swiftly in removing the Oklahoma chapter from our noble order.”

OU’s ΣΑΕ is also holding philanthropic-focused events all week in honor of their late-brother, Paddy Murphy.

All proceeds from the events will go to their national philanthropy, Children’s Miracle Network.